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Dinah Lance blondecanary
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Room 312, Saturday night
Post-luau, Dinah was playing with Camille in her room, music on and thinking of everything that had happened over the last two weeks, including vampires, demons, boys-who-were-girls, and presents and the party and everyone else there.

Loooots to think about.

[for one blonde witch]

The bracelet might shield Dinah's thoughts, but Karla could still catch a hint of her psychic scent. So many emotions roiled through it. "Oh, Dinah..." she murmured as Dinah collected her thoughts.

At Dinah's description, Karla frowned, thinking. "Like a Red Moon House, but for blood?"

"Yeaaaah." Dinah was blushing now, and no psychic abilities would be needed to see how this embarrassed her. "Some people, well, even here. They like to be hurt, as, um. Part of sex. Or to hurt someone else." She cleared her throat, and steadily said, "There's nothing wrong with it, I know that, if both people are into it, and they're careful. The vampires at the 'flower shop'-- they wanted to feed off someone who'd they'd leave alive. And the people they fed off were getting paid." Deeper, darker red, and Dinah took a sip of the wine to cover, closing her eyes.

"It wasn't sex, but it was really close to it." She rubbed her face, unable to look at Karla. "Other-me went there on Thursday, and bit this guy that I met last May. Just before you came here, actually." She dropped her hand, looking down into the wine cup, seeing Sam's face. "He's an alumni here, he graduated a year ago. He has a boyfriend and a girlfriend and ... he was nice to me. When we talked at Fight Club." She blew out a breath, rushing to get through the explanation. "He was going there to be bitten so he'd have stuff for the fighters in the dorms. And, uh. Because he liked it."

Violence as part of sex didn't faze Karla. She just nodded a bit. "It's suppose to increase the pleasure, the same way it's fun to be scared sometimes. A bit of pain enhances pleasure, so they say." Black Widows had no problems being blunt with their sexual topics.

"Sharing blood is very intimate," she continued, thinking aloud. "Even just giving you some of mine in a container was. I'm giving you something that is literally part of me. I can't imagine what it must be like to actually take it from a person. The heat, the closeness, the adrenaline rush..." Karla trailed off, realizing that her Healer-instincts might not be helping Dinah right now.

"I'm sorry. Keep going."

Dinah flailed internally, compass spinning and not sure where to point at all that clinical detail. All that accurate clinical detail.

"Like that. Yes. Exactly." She turned the cup in her hands without taking another drink, the reached out to pet Camille. "So. That was, um. Thursday." Breathe, Dinah. Just keep breathing. "And dreaming it, it was ... hot." She rolled her eyes at herself. "Other Me, she liked to feel what he felt too, while she was drinking, so. There was the blood, and there was him, liking it a lot, and-- if it had gone on for a few more weeks, or even a week, they probably would have ended up in bed too. If she didn't kill him accidentally or on purpose."

Dinah stopped there a minute, and let her hair fall into her face again, remembering how much it had embarrassed her to have Karla watch her drink blood out of a cup. So weird, almost exhibitionistic to talk about this, but not. Not sexy, just... safe. Intimate, but not the other. Still unnerving, though.

Karla thought she could guess where this was going. "Was he there? Later?" she asked, as gently as she could. "When you'd crossed over?"

"Yes." Dinah closed her eyes, but managed to brush her hair out of her face. "Before you found me, I went there. Me. Not Other-me." She gritted her teeth. "I wasn't sure... I was so damn hungry, Karla." She opened her eyes, hoping Karla wouldn't think less of her. "And I was curious, I guess. And scared of everything around me, and... I wasn't sure I could kill a deer, and I was scared I'd hurt someone, and-- I don't know. Maybe I wanted something positive, or what seemed like positive, out of that whole nightmare. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know."

And it scared her that she didn't know, not really. Or that she did know, and had wanted it, but it wasn't like she'd thought it would be at all, but she wouldn't have wanted it if she hadn't been starving, and like Jack said, it sucked to feel like something else was in control....

"Shh, Dinah, shh," Karla soothed, wrapping an arm around Dinah and petting her hair. "You were terrified, starving, and trapped in a body that was as much an alien as it was familiar. You were fighting instincts you didn't fully understand and so you went somewhere you could feed under controlled circumstances."

She bit her lip. "When you were with other vampires, you had to lie and pretend. When you were with me, you have to be extra-careful, on your guard, so you wouldn't hurt me. There, in that place, you could be Dinah, but there must have been safeguards involved so even real vampires couldn't harm the...donors? A place where you could just...do stuff, feel stuff...without having to constantly worry?"

Dinah nodded hard, tears pricking at her eyes, and leaned into Karla. She hadn't even thought of it that way, but that had been part of it. Someone else making sure. "Guards. The owner of the shop." She swallowed, trying not to cry. "S-- the guy. He was a fighter, too, I told him, he figured it out..." And that was embarrassing too, God, so much. "He knew right away I wasn't her."

"Yeah. You had all that sanity going on," Karla muttered. "Bet it wasn't obvious at all."

Karla could only go so long without making a smart-ass comment, even for Dinah.

"He didn't give away your secret, did he?"

Dinah gave a watery giggle at that, and swiped at her eyes. "She was really, really... yeah. God, I'm glad I'm not her. And no." She turned red again, embarrassed again but for a different reason. "No, he didn't. He felt sorry for me. He hugged me." Just kill her, this part just hurt to remember, in complicated, achey ways. "I almost chickened out, but he was so nice about it. He deserved so much better than that," she said suddenly, fierce. "It wasn't even the stuff they gave him, or wanting to push himself, he just wanted to feel something..." And damnit, now she was really crying.

"You will never be her," Karla insisted fiercely, wrapping her arms around Dinah and sending every soothing emotion at her that she possibly could. She wasn't sure if Dinah could feel it through the shield, but she was going to do it anyway. "Not unless there's a demon walking around in your skin. Your memories and powers do not Dinah Lance make."

"So, let me make sure I understand. This male went to...the flower shop?...voluntarily to be bitten," Karla confirmed. "He liked the thrill, that enjoyable fear you have when you know you're still safe. He'd tangled with other-you before and had had a good time? Liked the fear? And you, normal-you, couldn't make him feel that way, because you weren't dangerous in the same way she was." She rocked Dinah back and forth while she worked that through. "And now you feel guilty for being unable to give him what he wanted? Or rejected because what he wanted wasn't something you were able to give?" Both? Neither?

Maybe a little got through, or maybe Dinah just needed the hug; either way, it helped her calm down after a minute's worth of crying, enough to breathe again, and wipe off her face, still leaning against Karla as Camille patted at her leg, meowing in distress. Dinah picked the cat up and cuddled her, her voice hoarse.

"Rejected," she admitted softly. "And maybe just a little guilty. And so sad for him, God, Karla, that place, it messed people up so much. He went back to the flower shop three nights in a row, this huge risk where he could get killed, where he ended up feeling like, like someone's pet, because everything else was all the same..." Dinah shook her head, hating to remember what she'd felt when she'd bitten Sam. "And it was gross and it was scary, and we both felt sick about it when it was me, and ..." Dinah buried her face in the fur at the nape of Camille's neck, gulping for breath. "And it was still a little bit hot, a little bit sexy, and I don't know if I wanted it to feel better or worse."

"You know," Karla said, still rocking, "I can completely understand both the hot and sexy and the gross and scary." A fragment of a dream--Ben biting her neck while she moaned and begged for more--intruded for a moment before she resolutely pushed it away. "And even the being unsure whether it would have been better for you if the experience had been better or worse."

"We have one Dinah, lost, unsure, alone, and frightened. And hungry. We have one unnamed male, not a complete stranger, but not a friend either, one your psychic scent suggests was attractive. Both of you are looking for something--a meal, the ability to feel, even just for a moment, the smallest instant of connection. I can understand that male, I think. I think that was why Ender and Leto had such a hold on other-me. Even the fear of their stalking was compounded by the knowledge that she was desired and the excitement of actually feeling. If she and--I understand."

"Yeah?" Dinah sighed, and pulled back a little to smile, releasing her hold on Camille, who draped herself over Dinah's lap in response. Dinah put her head down on Karla's shoulder and closed her eyes. "He was attractive," she muttered. "And I couldn't stand anyone telling me it was wrong, so thanks for not doing that." She was quiet a moment, then softly said, "Other-me didn't kill him because she liked feeling what he felt. She couldn't hear or feel other vampires. They were just-- dead inside. Leto especially." She shuddered. "And I hate that she was more confident, and more fearless, and more sexy to him, and that I envy that, and she killed Priestly and how can I want to be anything like that? And I didn't want to hurt that guy, even though it was what he wanted. I just, I wanted ..." She shook her head. "Connection," she whispered. "Like you said. I'm so glad they didn't talk the other Karla into giving in. So, so glad."

Edited at 2009-08-16 07:12 am (UTC)

"I wouldn't tell you that it was wrong. It wasn't," Karla said, resting her cheek on Dinah's head. "Regardless of circumstances, he was there because he wanted to be and that is important. You didn't trick him or manipulate him into going; the decision was his. Immorality or wrongness comes not in the act, but in denying the right of consent to another."

Consent was a big thing in Kaeleer.

There was a moment or two of quiet while Karla collected her thoughts again. This was a big topic and she knew her propensity for just talking could do Dinah more harm than good. "And while you want to share some characteristics with other-you, you don't want to be like her. You want to be fearless and sexy and confident, and, hell's fire, I'd like to be those, too." The wanting to be sexy thing, at least, was new. "But you wouldn't use your sexiness or fearlessness or confidence the same way she did. You wouldn't explore pain and fear for pleasure. So, you can want to share some common, positive traits, but not want to be like the her that killed Priestly. It's not just the tools you have that are important, it's what you build with them."

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